A thrilling novel about a secret society and the dangers that lie in wait for anyone brave enough to join—perfect for fans of Karen M. McManus, Kara Thomas, and Maureen Johnson.
Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone’s lips. Its members deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities known only by their leader: the Queen of Hearts.
Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Now, she’s determined to hold the organization accountable by taking it down from the inside. But will the cost of revenge be more than she’s willing to sacrifice?
Laurin's ungainly but compelling debut blends a conventional romance with a less deadly version of high school thrillers in the style of Maureen Johnson and Kara Thomas. For years, a secret student cabal, the Red Court, has ruled Heller High School. Working in cells of two and led by the mysterious Red Queen, the all-female group uses a system of owed favors to rig homecoming elections, change exam results, expose dalliances, and more. Certain that the Red Court is behind an incident that paralyzed her older sister from the waist down, high achiever September Williams has positioned herself to enter the secret society with the goal of destroying the group from within. After Ember's initiation staging a photo to break up an established couple kicks off a predictable romance with her academic nemesis, dishy Chase Merriman, her Red Court assignments take on an oddly personal turn and become increasingly destructive. While the baroque scheming moves things along, the novel's real pleasure comes from watching tightly wound Ember leave some of her preconceptions behind finding an unexpected friend in her Red Court mentor and coming to terms with just how much she relishes her newfound control. Ages 13 up.